MAKING SALES CLASSES PAY OFF
For a list of our sales workshops, please see the list below or view the sidebar listing to the right.
Our Job-Specific and Industry-Specific Sales Classes
- Inside Sales / Inbound Sales Classes
- Inside Sales / Outbound Sales Classes
- Retail / Counter Sales Classes
- Call Center Sales Classes
- Prospecting Sales Classes – Phone Prospecting
- Prospecting Sales Classes – In-person Prospecting
- Field Sales / Account Management Sales Classes
- Field Sales / New Account Generation Sales Classes
- Field Sales / Key Account Sales Classes
- Channel and Distribution Sales Classes
- Customer Service / Non-Sales Professionals Sales Classes
- Integrated Sales and Marketing Classes
- Sales Coaching Classes
- Sales Management Classes
- Technology and Industry-Specific Sales Classes
How To Make Sales Classes Pay Off
Why do many companies that conduct sales classes fail to change the behavior of their salespeople and realize substantial sales increases? A primary reason is that management has not taken the time to clearly define the goals, criteria, compatibility and long-term impact of the sales classes they plan to implement. So, how can your company ensure that sales classes produce a substantial return on investment?
1). Set Goals for Sales Classes
The vast majority of companies select sales classes based on factors such as sales class outlines, sales training company reputation, referrals, sales trainer likeability, industry experience and cost. Rarely have we seen firms explicitly describe end results they seek. We’ve helped clients seeking effective sales classes define specific goals, examples of which include:
- Boost sales per rep by an average of 15% within 6 months
- Use the sales classes to launch a sales prospecting initiative and achieve a 25% increase in sales leads
- Reduce undesirable sales turnover by at least 35% annually
- Teach negotiation skills in the sales classes such that sales discounting behaviors decrease by 50%
- Create key account plans in the sales classes to decrease sales cycle time by 2 months
- Use the sales classes to create and gain salesperson buy-in to an enhanced sales process
2). Establish Criteria for Selecting Sales Classes and Vendors
To accomplish the goals set forth for your sales classes, appropriate criteria should be established. Criteria several of our clients have established include:
- The vendor and their sales classes are likely to achieve or exceed the expected results
- The sales classes are based on a sales process that isstomized to the company and industry.
- The vendor has well-developed sales classes that have a track record of producing results
- The facilitator of the sales classes (who has been interviewed) is likely to appear as credible and connects well with the sales staff
- The facilitator of the sales classes spends considerable time learning the client’s business, interviewing and observing the sales team, reviewing prior training, analyzing sales performance and metrics and interacting with company management
- Leave-behind sales tools are provided in each of the sales classes so that salespeople can successfully use their newly-learned sales techniques
- A post-training sales coaching system and plan is provided so that sales techniques are successfully utilized on an ongoing basis
- Complementary services, such as helping establish incentives for behavioral change or suggesting additional sales process measurements, are available to help boost the effectiveness of all sales classes
3). Evaluate the Compatibility of Sales Classes
Sales classes, based on detailed course outlines, that closely match a company’s needs are less likely to need a high degree of customization. Thus, the investment required to customize the programs should be modest. Some questions to ask when evaluating the compatibility of sales classes include:
- Does the vendor have detailed outlines for each of their sales classes?
- Do the classes correspond to the exact sales function of your sales team (e.g. inside B2B inbound sales, key account B2B sales, channel sales)?
- Have the sales classes already been customized to industries and sales cycles like yours?
- Do the sales classes have options that are beneficial now or in the future (e.g. adding a negotiations module, including a module on selling via social networking)?
- Have the sales classes been highly customized for other companies? Are these firms available to be contacted as a reference?
4). Assess Commitment to Long-Term Results
For sales classes to enhance selling skills and behaviors, post-training retention and coaching are critical. Both the sales training vendor and client must have a commitment to investing the time needed to boost sales effectiveness. Ideal post-training commitments include:
- Developing a coaching plan that is implemented right after sales classes are completed
- Investing time to coach each salesperson each week
- Measuring sales process steps and sales performance to identify bottlenecks for each salesperson
- Providing sales managers with training in effective coaching techniques
- Ensuring sales managers are themselves receiving coaching (e.g. via a coach-the-coach program)
- Conducting regular sales skills reinforcement sessions (e.g. “Ten-Minute Topics” in sales meetings